Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/27

Top State Stories 4/27

PA: In Pennsylvania, hate crime convictions continue to be an afterthought 

pennlive.com 

In scores of incidents across Pennsylvania a bias against someone's race, ethnicity or religion are noted in the crime report. But these seldom make it into crime statistics, and the state continues to have a chronically low annual reporting rate of hate crimes to the FBI. 

GA: Google, Microsoft urge veto of cybersecurity bill that allows firms to ‘hack back’ 

myajc.com 

Officials from Google and Microsoft are urging Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, to veto a bill that would create a new crime of “unauthorized computer access” that would outlaw so-called “white hat” hacking by individuals who then report security weaknesses to those operating the computer system. 

CT: Financial aid for Dreamers becomes a reality in Connecticut 

ctmirror.org 

The legislation makes undocumented immigrants eligible to apply for help from the $150 million pool of financial aid awarded annually to students at Connecticut's public colleges and universities. 

CO: Colorado bill would treat hemp like any other food ingredient 

thecannabist.co 

A bill is on its way to Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk to apply existing food manufacturing guidelines to products such as hemp oil-infused coffee and CBD-rich extracts made from the non-psychoactive cannabis plant variety.  

HI: Hawaii lawmakers pass ban on ‘bump stocks,’ other rapid-fire devices 

staradvertiser.com 

The Hawaii Senate voted 24-0 to approve a bill which would ban the manufacture, import, sale and possession of devices that can be used to modify firearm triggers to fire almost as rapidly as automatic weapons. It prohibits bump fire stocks, multiburst trigger activators and trigger cranks. The measure now goes to Democratic Gov. David Ige for his signature. 

AZ: Schools close as Arizona teachers walk out 

npr.org 

Educators across Arizona walked out of their classrooms with a series of demands in hand, foremost among them a raise and a return to the school funding levels of a decade ago. And many of those walking out have descended on downtown Phoenix. 

ME: Maine governor vetoes extended funding for child abuse prevention program 

pressherald.com 

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, vetoed a bill that would protect a $2.2 million child abuse prevention program that is slated to be eliminated this fall. Maine officials notified the nonprofits operating the Community Partnerships for Protecting Children program that funding was being pulled because it duplicates other programs and is not evidence-based. 

NH: New Hampshire House sends death penalty repeal to governor’s desk despite veto threat 

concordmonitor.com 

The legislation would strike the words “may be punished by death” from New Hampshire’s capital punishment statute, replacing them with “shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life without the possibility for parole.” New Hampshire is one of 31 states to have the death penalty, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. 

MI: Legalized pot plan approved for fall ballot in Michigan 

detroitnews.com 

A proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan is headed toward the statewide ballot in November. The proposal would allow personal possession and use of marijuana by people over 21 but limit personal possession to 2.5 ounces and growth to 12 plants per household. 

FL: Hundreds march in Tallahassee in support of restoring felons' right to vote 

miamiherald.com 

Hundreds of people marched to the Florida Capitol in support of a statewide citizens’ initiative to restore the right to vote to convicted felons in Florida and to end a 150-year-old system that permanently disenfranchises them. 

CA: Billions from gas tax and vehicle fees will go to transit projects, California officials announce 

latimes.com 

As Republican activists prepared to file signatures for a ballot initiative to repeal an increase in the state gas tax and vehicle fees, California officials announced that $2.4 billion of the money will be spent on dozens of transit projects, including work they say will prepare Southern California to host the 2028 Summer Olympics.

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